In the past few months the medication has been easier to take. I think it is because I see the end in sight. I have less than a year to go to complete the treatment and I am feeling a lot more hopeful than before. I have more energy these days and can now help out with many of the chores around the house.
My grandfather says I have green fingers and that I am better at gardening than he is. I really enjoy ploughing and plucking out weeds from the family vegetable patch. It reminds me of what we were taught at the MSF support group, that is, to pluck out the negative things from our lives, the negative things that make us feel bad about ourselves and make us sad. We planted maize a few months ago and it is growing at an even height – which is a sign of good farming. We will harvest good crop this year for sure.
When I am not in the garden I like to take long walks in my neighborhood. Sometimes I walk to visit my friends, but when they are at school I just go around exploring some of the areas in my community which I have not seen before. I can’t imagine staying at home for the entire day, I would go crazy. Sometimes, I can walk up to 15km in one day. I am stronger now than I was in January, when I found it difficult to walk down the road. I leave for my long walks soon after breakfast, and I make sure that I am home on time for the visit from the nurse, which is typically around lunch time.
My grandfather allows me to go and watch movies with my friends nowadays because he sees that it puts me in high spirits. During the school holidays we can watch three sometimes four movies in one day. The movies are screened outside, under a shaded spot at the local shopping centre in my community. When it is warm, my grandfather lets me stay out past nightfall, until 10pm sometimes and the bigger - older boys accompany me to our house after the movie. My favorite movie is called, “The Thai Warrior”. Ting reminds me of myself as he was an orphan too and grew up in a village. I can never be as brave as he was, many of the boys in my community are stronger than me and I have never been in a fight before. I wouldn’t know how to fight back if someone attacked me.
My friends will be returning to school for the final term of the year in a few weeks and I will go back to spending the majority of the day alone, taking long walks. I have been thinking a lot lately about the time I have missed out at school since falling ill and I am not really sure I want to go back. I feel left behind and I will most certainly be the oldest person in my class. I am afraid that the other children will tease me. Most of my friends will have completed high school and will be looking for jobs and making enough money to support their families by then.